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Perfume for babies? Better bring your checkbook

Alfred Lubrano, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Fashion Daily News

PHILADELPHIA -- Baby perfume is a thing.

Before bundling their little ones in a $530 Burberry Baby hooded fleece, or maybe a $249 White Company cashmere cardigan with footed leggings and bonnet, some parents will spritz their kids with extravagant fragrances.

While it’s the subject of complaints on social media about frivolous excess and potential health endangerment, there’s also growing interest in the little perfume bottles with big prices.

Bulgari advertises Petits Et Mamans, a $76 eau de toilette “dedicated to the relationship between mother and child.” In 2022, Hermès released a $105 alcohol-free fragrance for children aged three and older called Cabriole Eau de Senteur, meant to “evoke the scent of a child’s cheek.”

Well-off Philadelphians have demonstrated a limited but enthusiastic desire for baby perfume, although some who’ve immigrated from South and Central American countries, and Cuba, splash their little ones with baby cologne. It’s milder, contains fewer essential oils, and has a shorter-lasting scent than perfumes; it’s also less expensive.

Baby perfume is 1% of the baby toiletries market in the United States. In Latin America, it’s 30% to 40%, Jagadev added.


“My mom used cologne on me when I was a baby in the Dominican Republic,” said Jordano Pena-Sime, 32, a restaurant worker from Queen Village. “I still wear it — Chichí Agua de Colonia [$22.75 at Walmart]. It smells like fruit.

“And it feels good for the memories I have.”

High-end perfumers hope to create that same experience with their products.

“Baby perfume is a niche luxury market,” said Sonali Jagadev, research analyst for Eurocenter, a global market-analysis firm. “It’s a status symbol.” Mothers sometimes use the same fragrances as their babies for scented symmetry. Industry figures show that people who buy baby perfume already spend $500 to $2,500 per year on fragrance and skincare products, said Michael Nordstrand, chief creative officer for Mythologist, a New York-based company that creates perfume for fragrance houses.


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